Birthday Partys Are Even Better with an Outdoor Movie My nephew just turned 17 a few days ago, and the weather was just too good to not be outside for the party. After loading our plastic plates down with potato chips and hot dogs we moved everything outdoors onto my brother's large and comfortable back lawn. It really was a perfect night, and as the sun faded I knew there would be no choice but to set up the inflatable movie screen. The kids were running all over the place, which never makes set-up easy. But for the most part the little nieces and nephews were very helpful. I gave them all little tasks such as unwinding the power cables and picking out CD's to listen to. Their choice was some dusty broken disc deep in my brother's CD collection. After setting up the audio system, I set the songs spinning. Surprisingly, The Lion Sleeps Tonight was the third song on the playlist and the kids happily danced around the yard. It was the perfect distraction, allowing me just enough time to get the projector plugged in and warmed up. As twilight passed and darkness set we blanketed the lawn with soft comforters, and even pulled out a sofa. My nephew decided he wanted to watch the newest Star Trek movie. And since he was the birthday boy, a majority vote was not required. He and his friends piled onto the trampoline where they stayed for the rest of the evening. My brother had hooked up his DVD player to the CineBox system. It was something he had purchased recently from a local company called ClearPlay. Somehow the DVD player knows when the swear words are coming and turns off the volume. Its actually a pretty smart machine, and in most cases very welcome, as one of my youngest nephews has a peculiar knack for picking up naughty words from movies that manage to get him into trouble. All ages (from 2 to 72) enjoyed sitting in front of the screen on the soft lawn enjoying a wonderful evening with each other. Looking forward to next week when my niece and I will share a birthday. I suppose we'll have to flip a coin to see who gets to pick the film. I really hope luck is on my side because I don't think I can stomach Cinderella for the umpteenth time.

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